Archive | November, 2010

Who’s Hosting the 83rd Academy Awards?

29 Nov

Why, that would be Anne Hathaway and James Franco! According to a release from the Academy today, the “Love and Other Drugs” and “127 Hours” (respectively) stars will be taking hosting duty on February 27, which is ONLY 90 days from today. Luckily, we only have 37 more days to wait until nominations are announced on January 5.

Images from IMDB.com

This will be the second year in a row that the Oscar ceremony has had 2 hosts (with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin having hosted last year.)

The Academy is clearly trying to appeal to younger viewers with this choice.  I’m a fan of both actors—Anne was great on her recent turn as SNL host, and JF is actually funny, which I only learned after seeing Pineapple Express.  I’m intrigued by the pairing, but my guess is they’ll do a fine job hosting this year.

What do you think of this hosting choice? How do you think they’ll do?

Get Your Thanksgiving On!

25 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you have a better dinner today than CB and co., and thanks for reading Oscartini!

The Epicness that is HP7 (part 1)

21 Nov

Finally, the movie event I’ve been waiting for has arrived, and it was everything I imagined it would be. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one waiting for this movie.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 grossed $125.1 million dollars this past weekend in the US (and topped $330 million globally!) I also saw the movie in the best possible way: with some of my fav fellow Potterphile friends, in the Lux Level.

Me, Annemarie and Julie. Hey Harry, sorry Voldemort's STILL trying to kill you!

Personally, I LOVED this movie; but that’s not really surprising, since I’m a huge fan of the books, and have loved all the movies (not equally, but loved nonetheless). I’ve always felt that the movie supplement the books, as opposed to being able to stand on their own as separate entities. Since I don’t know how the movies play to someone who hasn’t read the books, I can only speculate, but to me, I imagine it would be very confusing, since there is SO MUCH that is left out in terms of plot, character development and background information.

Ultimately, that was my biggest gripe about this movie: the details that were cut at the expense of getting the most out of the main story. I expected this to be the case though, and still really enjoyed the movie!

Warning: Spoiler alerts (kinda?) below! Continue reading at your own risk =)

Some of the things I liked best about part 1 of HP 7 were:

  • The story moved very quickly (even during the woods); I was worried that this part would drag in the movie, since it tends to in the book, but there is literally no time for it to drag at all.  Overall, I was very please with the pace of the film.
  • The Minestry scenes: these were awesome. It felt so repressed and claustrophobic, just as I imagined it feeling in the books.
  • The cinematography and scenery are really breathtaking in this movie. For example:

From the Harry Potter Facebook page, how cool is this?

  • How the story of the Deathly Hallows were depicted: the use of animation to tell the story of the Three Brothers was genius, and was a great way to unconventionally tell a story within a story.
  • The general tone of the whole film: a lot has been made of the fact that this is the darkest (book and film) of the series. And rightfully so—this is a world at war. David Yates seemingly took this to heart, so every aspect of the movie helps you remember how dire this situation is; real danger is portrayed at every turn for Harry, Ron and Hermione.

On to what I wasn’t crazy about. My biggest compliant is the exclusion of some parts of the story I was looking forward to seeing like Harry’s goodbye to the Dursley’s, and when Harry found Lily’s letter at Grimmauld Place. I also felt like all of the background details on Dumbledore’s life (which were a really crucial component of the book) were scaled way down, to a point where it doesn’t seem to matter at all. Hopefully, some of this can be rectified in Part 2.

For reals though: see this movie. BUT, not unless you’ve read the books first, or like to drop $$ to not understand what’s going on…

Now, only 235 days to go until HP7 part 2 hits the big screen!  But who’s counting, right?

Did you see HP7P1 this weekend? What did you think?

The Big Day!

19 Nov
It’s here!  The day Harry Potter fans have been waiting for…the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.  I’ll be seeing it tonight, and will post a full recap sometime this weekend! When are you planning on seeing it?

From the HP Facebook Page

Also, today marks 100 days until the 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony! Woohoo!

Clearly, it’s a BIG DAY all around! Happy Friday =)

The Godfather Part II (Winner, 1974/47th Annual Academy Awards)

18 Nov

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I posted…but I’ve actually been watching this movie since October 3. Just kidding…but this is a really long movie, coming in at over 3 hours.  Of course, The Godfather Part II is also an iconic Oscar winner, and this was the first time I had seen it.  I know, I’m embarrassed for myself.

As is well known, this is a sequel to the 1972 Best Picture winner, The Godfather.  What you might not know (I didn’t, anyways!) is that part II serves as both a sequal AND prequel to part 1.  Far from being just a series of flashbacks, the movie showcases both the present day Corelone family, led by Michael Corleone (Al Pacino, back when he was hot) and Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro, taking over Marlon Brando’s role) from when he came to America and the founding of the Family.

As far as I’m aware, this movie is unique as far as sequels go for being a sequel and prequel in one (anyone know of any other movies like this?), and it’s also widely recognized as one of the greatest sequels of all time; in some cases, it’s even ranked above part 1!

Watching this movie, a lot of the same themes from the first one carried over; family, loyalty…and murdering people, that’s definitely a major theme too.  Which is how poor, stupid Fredo ends up: murdered.

Bad news for you Fredo, don’t mess with the Don!

I liked part 2; the flashback scenes were interesting, and Robert De Niro was great in this primarily non-English speaking role. Al Pacino was awesome, and I found myself empathizing with him, even though it was not cool when he smacked around Diane Keaton. Who does that?

But I do think part 1 is my favorite of the 2; while De Niro was great, Brando’s portrayal of the Don is iconic, and makes you look forward to each one of his scenes in the first movie.  I also found the plot of part 2 to be a bit convoluted at times; I would probably have to watch it a few more times to fully grasp all the nuances in the plot.

I definitely preferred the first part to the second; which is your favorite? Any votes for Part 3 (which I haven’t seen yet, but hear it doesn’t stack up by a long shot)?

Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

  • To prepare for his role, Robert De Niro lived in Sicily
  • Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to ever win separate Oscars for playing the same character. Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather (1972) and De Niro won Best Supporting Actor for this movie, both in the role of Vito Corleone
  • The first sequel to win an Academy Award for Best Picture
  • Budget: $13 Million, gross revenue: $193 million+

Characters Welcome: 5 Original Favorites

3 Nov

With all the movies I’ve seen recently (and am psyched to see soon!), it got me thinking about my favorite characters. I know—tough task, right? But I was able to narrow it down to 5 characters from original movies. Why only 5? Because I know if I don’t limit the list, I’ll just keep adding to it, and this will never get posted =)

So without further ado (and in no particular order!)…

  • President Thomas J. Whitmore, Independence Day

This is one of my favorite movies, and President Thomas J. Whitmore (played by Bill Pullman) is basically the perfect fictious president. He’s badass, makes the tough decisions and is pretty much the man.  Oh yeah, and he makes the BEST SPEECH OF ALL TIME. Even though it’s not real, it still gives me goosebumps. I can’t find a version with the visual, but this has the audio, which is almost as good!

  • Lucas, Empire Records

I thought this movie was awesome when I was in sixth grade, and I think it’s awesome now. Out of a great ensemble cast, I have to go with Lucas (Rory Cochrane) as my favorite. He sits on the couch and says funny things, and for that, I love him. Example:

Lucas: Joe, I think it’s gonna be okay.
Joe: What makes you think that?
Lucas: Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear.

Priceless, love Lucas.

  • Claire, The Breakfast Club

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big fan of the Breakfast Club. Claire (AKA Molly Ringwald), as spoiled as she is, is still a character that I think it’s easy to empathize with, and appreciate. She skipped school to go shopping and is the princess of the group, but you still cheer when she and Bender get together.

  • Chris, Adventures in Babysitting

If you haven’t seen this movie (which I hope you have), you should, and then you’d put Chris Parker on your favorite character list too. This movie is hilarious, and Elisabeth Shue plays this high school babysitter who goes out for an accidental night on the town with her charges with a mix of horror at her sitch and humor. Also, one of my favorite karaoke scenes from any movie is in this movie:

  • Edward, Pretty Woman

For reals? This Edward was the original Edward, before Twilight came along and put the name on every tweenyboppers binder. He took a chance on our favorite prostitute, punched Jason Alexandar in the face and is generally hot and amazing.

So there’s are my 5 favorite original characters. Next up: 5 favorite characters from movies, but that were developed elsewhere (TV, book, comic book).

So—what are your favorite characters from the big screen, and why? Do share!